MAV Councillor Development Weekend
It’s only a few weeks until the MAV’s annual Councillor Development Weekend (CDW) on 25-27 July and there is still time to register.
CDW is the principle training, development and networking event for Victorian councillors. It will include workshops, and the opportunity to learn from and share experiences with councillors from across Victoria.
This year the event will feature keynote presentations by a range of national identities including radio and television presenter Waleed Aly, Senior Research Associate on the ARC Discovery project, Dr Jackie Dickenson, and author, writer and sports commentator Mick Colliss.
CDW will be held at the Novotel Forest Resort, Creswick. A program is now available and registrations can be made online.
MAV state election Call to Parties
Last week the MAV Board meeting considered our draft Call to Parties document, which will seek commitments on behalf of local government from each political party in the lead up to the state election.
The Call to Parties has now been sent to all council CEOs and MAV Representatives for feedback.
The draft includes priority issues previously identified by members through our strategic planning process earlier this year, recent metropolitan and rural/regional member forums, and State Council resolutions. The draft Call to Parties covers eight key themes: State-local government relations, regulatory and self reform, planning, environment, transport and infrastructure, community services, public health and safety, and emergency management.
Members are invited to provide feedback on its content until COB on Friday 8 August. Comments can be sent to Debbie Smith.
Meeting with the Minister and rate capping
Our recent meeting with Local Government Minister, Tim Bull, was positive and it is pleasing to see the knowledge he has on many local government issues.
Our discussions included progress of the revised Victorian State-Local Government Agreement, the need for a business case to be developed before any proposed library reforms are progressed, and continuation of the discussion about our concerns with proposed governance and conduct reforms.
We welcome the Minister recently issuing a strong statement reinforcing the government’s opposition to rate capping and the negative impacts this could have on local communities.
Council rates survey
The results of our annual council rates survey showed rates would increase on average by 4.2 per cent, or $70, the lowest in recent years.
The purpose of this survey is to present rates data in a consistent format across all councils, and to ensure rates-related media stories are positioned within the context of the financial challenges facing the sector.
The MAV would like to thank the 71 councils who provided their rates data prior to it being sent to the media. Our rates package can be accessed online.
National Competition Policy Review
This review invites public participation into Australia’s competition laws and policy. The MAV has submitted a brief response, focussing on the section related to government services, and in particular, community services.
The submission highlights the importance of maintaining a balance in the policy with public sector oversight to ensure the best outcomes forcommunities, and the potentially negative unintended consequences which may arise for clients and the service system from contestability, as experienced by Victorian councils.
The issues are currently of direct relevance to Victorian local government in the negotiations with the Commonwealth regarding the future of the Home and Community Care (HACC) program.
For further information, contact Clare Hargreaves.
Council support for the 2014 NAIDOC celebrations
Victorian councils have celebrated NAIDOC Week with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with many councils flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, supporting community events, and providing support for the Victorian 2014 NAIDOC Ball on 12 July.
NAIDOC Week is an important calendar event for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the Victorian theme this year was ‘ We Have Survived - Lets Honour Our True History’.
The MAV encourages all councils to fly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags this week to provide local leadership.
Protocols have been issued by the Department of Premier and Cabinet about the flying of the flags as a way of promoting greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and celebrating the survival of Indigenous culture.
MAV response to Gaming Machine Entitlement
The MAV has responded to the Gaming Entitlement Term Issues Paper in the context of local government concerns about the harmful effects of gambling within communities.
The MAV proposes that any changes to the entitlement period for gaming machines in pubs and clubs should be based on the public’s best interest.
For further information, contact Jan Black.
New local government grants
The TAC is offering Victorian councils the opportunity to apply for funding for small-scale infrastructure treatments to address pedestrian and cyclist safety, under the Local Government Grants Program for Small-Scale Infrastructure.
The program aims to encourage local government involvement in cyclist and pedestrian safety projects that are consistent with Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy 2013-2022, and provide opportunities for councils to develop and implement low cost, effective infrastructure treatments, or the trialling of innovative measures, targeting cyclist and pedestrian safety.
The TAC will be sending copies of the guidelines to all council CEOs.
Litter Hotspots Project: round two
The Metropolitan Waste Management Group is inviting applications from local government, business and community organisations who would like support to implement a local program to reduce litter and improve stormwater quality that is affecting the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.
The two grants available are:
- Small grants from $ 5,000 to $15,000 for the 2014 – 2015 financial year
- Large grants from $15,000 to $200,000 over three years.
Project proposals must address litter issues that impact (directly or indirectly) on the health and enjoyment of the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.
An optional information session has been also scheduled for Friday 18 July for any prospective applicants who would like to obtain further clarification or guidance about preparing their application.
Invite to ‘Anzac Centenary Commemorative Week’ events
Three official activities – free and open to the public – have been announced to mark the centenary of the commencement of the First World War on 4 August 1914.
The first public event will be a wreath laying commemoration at the Shrine of Remembrance at 2pm on 4 August.
The second public event will occur that night at Melbourne Town Hall with a commemoration to mark a huge WWI rally held in August 1914. Anyone interested in attending this event should register online.
The third public event will be a commemoration at the Point Nepean National Park, to mark the first shot in the British Empire of WWI. It will run from 11am, 5 August.
Further information is available online, or via Facebook and Twitter.
Victoria's Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2014
Nominations for the Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2014 are now open.
The award recognises major improvements made, or initiatives developed, by a council to promote and strengthen multiculturalism, and meet the identified needs of that municipality’s culturally, linguistically and/or religiously diverse communities.
Guidelines and nomination forms are available online. Applications close 25 July. For more information, call 9651 0647.
Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme (HVSPP)
Round four of the HVSPP was launched at the 2014 National General Assembly of Local Government. Proposals are now being called for, and the closing date is 28 August.
HVSPP is an Australian Government initiative to improve productivity and safety outcomes of heavy vehicle operations across Australia, through funding of infrastructure projects.
Round four will focus on projects that are well developed, with planning and approvals well advanced so construction can begin in the 2014-15 financial year.
Details on the programme parameters, how to apply and funding conditions, are contained in the Programme Criteria and Proposal Form.
To receive a proposal form and the programme criteria, contact the Department.
Bridges Renewal Programme
The Bridges Renewal Programme aims to contribute to the productivity of bridges serving local communities, and facilitate higher productivity vehicle access. Proposals are now being called for, and the closing date is 28 August.
Round one will focus on projects that are well developed, with planning and approvals well advanced so construction can begin in the 2014-15 financial year. Councils who would like to seek funding but who are not at a construction ready stage should prepare themselves for round two, which is expected to be announced in mid to late 2015.
Details on the programme parameters, how to apply, and funding conditions are contained in the Programme Criteria and Proposal Form.
To receive a proposal form and the programme criteria, contact the Department.
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